WHO IS a chance to play in round eight?
In this week's In the Mix, brought to you by the Toyota WorkHorse Range, we find the players who are giving their selectors plenty of food for thought.
Who's going out, who's sore, who is under the pump? Our reporters attempt to pick all the R8 ins. Check it out.
THE FULL INJURY LIST Who is racing the clock?
The Crows went down against St Kilda on Monday night but put in a competitive effort, so it will be interesting to see the changes coach Matthew Nicks makes for this week's clash with Essendon. Bryce Gibbs, Elliot Himmelberg, Ben Davis and Kieran Strachan were named as emergencies so are getting closer, while young defenders Josh Worrell and Jordon Butts impressed in last week's scratch match, so have put their hands up for selection. Billy Frampton, who was dropped last week, and Lachie Murphy will also be considered against the Bombers.
Verdict: Nicks spoke about potentially adding another ruckman to support Reilly O'Brien, so Strachan is a chance, while Darcy Fogarty could also return from his shoulder injury. - Callum Twomey
Not a lot to discuss with the Lions after an excellent all-around team performance against Greater Western Sydney. Half-back Callum Ah Chee has been slow to find his feet since moving from Gold Coast but should retain his spot. Noah Answerth and Alex Witherden are knocking the door down if a change is to be made.
Verdict: No injuries and good form equals no changes. - Michael Whiting
It's good news on the injury front, with Paddy Dow (knee) making it through a scratch match unscathed over the weekend. However, Jack Silvagni (knee) was injured while returning from a rib problem and is expected to miss the next fortnight. Dow will join a queue featuring Zac Fisher in attempting to earn a recall for this weekend's bout with North Melbourne. The Blues were impressive in Sunday's narrow defeat to the Power, making it hard to find omissions. David Cuningham and Matthew Kennedy were quiet, but both deserve to be persisted with, having been trialled in the midfield in recent weeks. Fisher appears to be next in line for a place in the side, but remains behind Sam Walsh and Jack Newnes for a spot on the wing. Rookie forward Josh Honey is the bolter after a strong couple of weeks on the track, but David Teague might reward the team that ran Port Adelaide close.
Verdict: No change, with the Blues to stick fat for a winnable clash with the Kangaroos. - Riley Beveridge
An injury to Jordan De Goey (finger) gives Collingwood a number of options. Mason Cox was a late withdrawal last Thursday night and could fill the void, should Nathan Buckley elect to go tall against a West Coast backline that has struggled against height. Darcy Cameron also provides another key-position option in attack. Josh Thomas, who was the carry-over emergency last week, has also impressed in a series of recent scratch matches and would be the smaller choice against the Eagles at Optus Stadium. Buckley could hedge his bets and pick one of each, should Atu Bosenavulagi make way after winning just three disposals on the weekend. Matt Scharenberg (ribs) and Ben Reid (calf) will also push their case for recalls, having both spent time on the sidelines due to injury.
Verdict: Two changes, with Cox and Thomas replacing De Goey and Bosenavulagi. - Riley Beveridge
After a disappointing performance against the Western Bulldogs last week it is hard to see the Bombers going in with the same line-up against the Crows this Sunday. Brandon Zerk-Thatcher is a chance to come in for the injured Cale Hooker (calf) as is Aaron Francis, while they could bring in James Stewart and play him forward. Irving Mosquito is getting close to a debut, while Tom Cutler returned in a scratch match last week from a calf injury and performed well on a wing. Matt Guelfi is another itching for a call-up to the senior side, while Martin Gleeson was managed last week.
Verdict: First-gamer Ned Cahill was solid last week but could be squeezed out if the Bombers opt for Cutler’s run. Gleeson, Francis and Zerk-Thatcher seem likely to fight it out to replace Hooker. - Callum Twomey
There were no injury concerns out of the disappointing Western Derby loss, but coach Justin Longmuir may look to make some changes at match committee for next Monday night's clash with Geelong. Reece Conca (hamstring) is expected to return, while Brandon Matera, Connor Blakely, Tobe Watson and Lloyd Meek were emergencies against the Eagles and are next in line. Travis Colyer, Lachie Schultz and Bailey Banfield may be feeling the heat after quiet performances.
Verdict: Conca to return for Banfield. - Chris Correia
The Cats' midfield was exposed last week when Joel Selwood (hamstring) and Jordan Clark (shoulder) went down with injuries mid-game. It makes the call to bring back Mitch Duncan an easy one, while Charlie Constable will be at the front of the queue for Selwood's vacant inside midfield role unless they turn to James Parsons. The return of Tom Stewart will make for a logjam of defenders and veteran Harry Taylor will be needed to contend with Rory Lobb and Matt Taberner. It could force Jed Bews to be the unlucky one. While Francis Evans was an emergency last week, Lachie Fogarty and potential debutant Brad Close are in the frame for Gary Ablett's position with the champion back in Victoria.
Verdict: Duncan, Stewart, and Constable in for Clark, Bews and Selwood. Flip a coin on Fogarty or Close for Ablett's spot. - Mitch Cleary
Back at home after three matches on the road, the Suns are fresh off a win against Sydney as they prepare for a short turnaround to take on the Western Bulldogs on Thursday night. Small forward Darcy Macpherson (10 disposals and a goal) has battled for a few weeks, while recalled Wil Powell (four touches) did well in his one-on-one contests but could not get involved with ball in his new role in defence. Sean Lemmens and Brayden Fiorini would be right in the hunt for a call-up.
Verdict: Hard to change a winning team, but Macpherson is struggling and could benefit from missing a week and freshening up. Lemmens deserves a chance at his expense. - Michael Whiting
Brilliant forward Toby Greene is expected to be available for the Giants' Friday night clash with Richmond in the Grand Final rematch. Greene missed last week's loss to Brisbane with a shin injury. Daniel Lloyd was managed last week after suffering concussion the previous game so should also be available to take on the Tigers if he can regain his place in the star-studded Giants line-up. Tom Green and Matt Buntine are also pushing for call-ups, but the Giants have a largely settled side – they just need to get going after back-to-back losses.
Verdict: Greene comes in for Bobby Hill who was quiet last week, while the Giants will weigh up whether to bring back Lloyd, potentially for Zac Langdon. - Callum Twomey
Another week, more big selection calls to make. Jarman Impey (knee) – one of the most influential players on the Hawks' list – played his second scratch match at the weekend and this time without restrictions. Do they bring him back to play Sydney or wait another week? Jack Scrimshaw (ankle) was close to returning on Sunday and should come in this week. On the flipside, Tim O'Brien (ankle) will be out for at least this week and possibly longer, so they have a decision to make on their forward structure. Sending one of the defenders into attack seems reasonable, since Jon Patton (hamstring) remains out. Jon Ceglar (toe) or Ben McEvoy might be options, too. Two-gamer Josh Morris might be vulnerable. Potential high-profile axings could be Tom Scully or captain Ben Stratton. Youngsters Harry Jones, Dylan Moore and Finn Maginness are contenders to come in.
Verdict: Ceglar (if fit), Scrimshaw and Impey in; O'Brien, Scully and Harry Morrison (who is stiff). - Marc McGowan
The Demons have a decision to make on fit-again key forward Tom McDonald, who missed Sunday's win with an eye injury. Second-gamer Luke Jackson impressed in McDonald's absence, with the forward line functioning well and him spelling Max Gawn in the ruck. Could McDonald play on the wing instead? Adam Tomlinson, Nathan Jones, Joel Smith, Alex Neal-Bullen, Trent Rivers and Jayden Hunt are other recall candidates but there aren't many vulnerable players. The upcoming compressed fixture might be a factor but possibly not until next week. Neville Jetta and Jay Lockhart will be needed for Brisbane's fleet of smalls. Jake Melksham isn't in 2018 form but is playing a role up forward and at the end of the midfield rotation, while Angus Brayshaw and Aaron vandenBerg are contributing despite some untidy ball use.
Verdict: Unchanged. - Marc McGowan
Skipper Jack Ziebell (hamstring) faces a month on the sidelines in another crippling blow for the Roos, who have the longest injury list in the AFL. Kyron Hayden (concussion) would appear doubtful after his heavy collision. Could the Roos pull the trigger on Ben Brown's sidekick Nick Larkey (foot), or any of Luke Davies-Uniacke (groin), Kayne Turner (foot) and Majak Daw? Cameron Zurhaar (calf) is a certain inclusion if he's fit after being a late withdrawal, as is Jed Anderson (quad), while Paul Ahern (hamstring) also needs to prove his fitness. Late inclusion Ben McKay deserves to stay in but could Mason Wood's spot again be under threat? Aiden Bonar and Bailey Scott are yet to establish themselves as senior regulars.
Verdict: Zurhaar, Anderson and Daw for Ziebell, Hayden and Wood. - Marc McGowan
A trio of key players, including Connor Rozee (heel), Ryan Burton (quad) and Steven Motlop (ankle), were injured in Sunday's win over Carlton. Rozee will have a fitness test later this week, but Burton and Motlop will certainly miss. Scott Lycett has PCL damage to his knee and could miss up to a fortnight. The positive signs displayed by his young replacement Peter Ladhams will allow Ken Hinkley the time to be patient with his experienced ruckman's return. Tom Rockliff and Riley Bonner remain on the outer, but could earn recalls given the club's injury list. Cam Sutcliffe could also put himself in the frame for selection, having missed last week due to a hamstring strain. Young forward Mitch Georgiades is also awaiting a return to action, having failed to reappear for the senior side after injuring his calf during the shutdown period.
Verdict: Rockliff and Bonner to earn recalls, with Burton and Motlop forced out due to injury. - Riley Beveridge
The Tigers will be forced into at least one change with Josh Caddy suffering a hamstring injury against the Roos last week. Trent Cotchin will be given another week to recover from his hamstring injury, but David Astbury is ready to return following knee surgery last month. The premiership defender's inclusion will put Noah Balta at risk of losing his spot. Kamdyn McIntosh only had three kicks last week, but his five tackles will please the coaching staff. Jack Ross and Sydney Stack are likely to be fighting for Caddy's vacant spot, but don't discount Pat Naish or a debut for Riley Collier-Dawkins.
Verdict: Astbury replaces Balta, while Ross comes in for Caddy. - Ben Sutton
Much of the selection quandary will again centre on whether the Saints go with two rucks and keep Paddy Ryder in the side. Josh Battle (concussion/cheekbone) will be assessed this week and, given the five-day break, is more unlikely than likely. Debutant Ryan Byrnes was quiet, while the Saints may consider skipper Jarryn Geary for a rest. Unsighted in 2020, Jack Sinclair was best on ground for a half in a scratch match before he was rested as the travelling emergency for Adelaide. Jonathon Marsh will be in the frame after he was dropped, while Jack Bytel, Shane Savage and Nick Hind were close last week.
Verdict: Ryder would almost certainly keep his spot if Battle – who has previously been used as the second ruck – is ruled out. Expect Sinclair or Marsh to be next in. - Mitch Cleary
Help is on the way. Sam Reid and Lewis Melican are available to return from respective injuries to potentially bolster the Swans against Hawthorn on Saturday. However, they have three fresh concerns with Colin O'Riordan (hip), George Hewett (back) and Will Hayward (knee). Not knowing how those three will come up makes it hard to predict what Sydney will do. It might spare some teammates from the axe, too. Chad Warner and even Nick Blakey, who hasn't kicked a goal in the past month and has three single-digit-possession games in that time, must be feeling the heat. Recruits Sam Gray and Lewis Taylor will be in the selection frame, as could Justin McInerney and Zac Foot.
Verdict: Reid and Taylor in but Hewett and Warner out (depending on O'Riordan and Hayward proving their fitness and Hewett not). - Marc McGowan
Captain Luke Shuey is a lock to return after the Eagles were extra cautious with his return from a hamstring injury last week. Initially named and then withdrawn, expect Shuey to take Brayden Ainsworth's spot. Jarrod Cameron again had little impact and had the lowest time on ground of any Eagle in the Derby win, but given Jamaine Jones is still working back from a hamstring, expect the Eagles to give Cameron his third consecutive game. Jarrod Brander is fit and available after his hip complaint, but may find it tough to get his spot back. Lewis Jetta is another outside the 22 who can't be forgotten.
Verdict: Shuey in for Ainsworth. - Mitch Cleary
Tough midfielder Callum Porter will make his debut this week as the Dogs look to add some inside grunt against the Suns. Sam Lloyd kicked a goal in last week's scratch match and could return after missing some time with a collarbone injury. Bailey Dale is down on form and has managed just four goals from six matches this year, after kicking 20 goals in a six-week span towards the end of last year.
Verdict: Lloyd and Porter come in for Dale and Lachie Young. - Jourdan Canil